Humanity has sent six self-propelled vehicles to Mars so far, and these research instruments have left their mark on the Red Planet forever. At the end of their mission, they will practically decorate the landscape of Mars as garbage, and it is not just about the wreckage of an empty and dilapidated machine.
During the descent, small pieces of the heat shield and other parts are scattered, the result of which was photographed by NASA with a Martian named Perseverance. In these images, the agency’s trash (also) can be clearly seen stuck to a rock on Mars. This was what protected the hull from extreme temperatures during flight as well as during landing.
The heat shield may have gotten there during the 2021 touchdown, but experts are also speculating on the terms for getting there.
This shiny part of the foil is part of a thermal blanket – a material used to control temperatures. It’s a surprise to discover this here: my descent stage crashed about 2 km away. Did this piece land here after that, or was it blown away by the wind? pic.twitter.com/uVx3VdYfi8
– NASA Persevere on Mars (@NASAPersevere) June 15, 2022
Fortunately, for a long time, the last Martian American won’t look at his trash, which he has slowly embarked on his main mission: he’ll examine supposed traces of ancient Mars’ microbial life by analyzing rock samples. Scientists believe that the sea was rippled in this area 3 billion years ago, so life may have existed on Mars.
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